Tuesday, September 15, 2009

D23 Expo Recaps and Reviews

On Saturday I wrote about our excellent experience at Day 3 of Disney's D23 Expo.

More reviews and posts about the Expo are now starting to find their way to the Internet.

Al Lutz has posted some initial thoughts on MiceAge. (Click the title of this post.)

The part of Al's post I most agreed with:

"The Parks & Resorts Pavilion at D23 Expo was the true hit of the sprawling exhibit floor, operated by Disneyland Attractions Cast Members in the queue and in the Magic TV pre-show and then staffed by dozens of knowledgeable Imagineers of all stripes and talents inside at the exhibits. The huge models, displays and live demonstrations of Imagineering art and wizardry were a wonder to behold of course. But it was that personal and surprisingly approachable interaction between the fans and the Imagineers that made the pavilion so memorable.

"Having the actual designers and creators of these new attractions and technologies standing there happily answering any and all questions thrown their way, while eagerly running their creations through their paces like proud parents, was unlike any experience Disney has ever offered its fans before.

"If the D23 Expo returns to Anaheim in the future, as it is tentatively slated to do every September through 2012, the Parks & Resorts Pavilion will have set the bar very high for all other divisions of the Disney empire to aspire to."

I briefly mentioned this aspect of the Expo near the top of Saturday's post. This Pavilion was definitely a major "wow" moment among many great moments that day. We were simply amazed to be approached by the friendly Imagineers when we walked up to each exhibit and have them enthusiastically tell us all about their creations. We weren't expecting that level of personal interaction, and it was a moment that told us Disney was truly invested in making D23 a top-line experience.

As a side note, I was glad to read in Al's column that some at Disney are perhaps uncomfortable regarding the appropriateness of bringing back the Michael Jackson Captain EO attraction. Hopefully wise heads will prevail and Captain EO will be left forever where it belongs, in Yesterland.

The L.A. Times blog Hero Complex has posted many Expo articles, including a terrific report on the Saturday night screening of SLEEPING BEAUTY, with the voice of Princess Aurora, Mary Costa, in attendance. I would have loved to see that but getting back for a 10:00 p.m. screening was a bit more than we could swing that day. As it turned out, Miss Costa signed autographs until 2:00 a.m.! She sounds like an absolutely lovely woman.

The screening reminds me of something that needs to be fixed for the next Expo. Parking at the Convention Center was $12. Okay, fine. But there are no "in and out" same-day privileges. Which meant if we decided to drive back for the screening that night, parking would have cost another $12. That's simply unacceptable on top of Expo tickets and the original parking fee. It's not right to "trap" paying Expo guests and double charge them if they need to leave for a while sometime between the long Expo hours of roughly 8:00 a.m. to midnight.

MousePlanet has photos and an overview of the Expo.

Photos of the day we attended were posted at All Ears Net. Other posts and photos are posted elsewhere on the site.

Finally, the D23 website itself has posted many photos and articles.

I hope we'll see the Expo return to Anaheim next year!

Thursday Update: Another review with constructive ideas for next time around by Werner Weiss of Yesterland.


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